After a busy spring and a lot of office time, we started our training about two weeks ago. It is great to be outside again, exploring God’s creation and training staff to minister in it! I’m really excited about this next summer of ministry, and can’t wait to see what God is going to do. We have a quite a few groups booked already, including a couple of backpack trips, a few multi-day combo trips, and some 1/2 day trips as big as 100 people!
Two weeks ago, the Arkansas River was flowing at less than 300 CFS (cubic feet per second), the lowest level I’ve ever seen it. The late spring delayed the melt-out up in the mountains. We’re finally seeing warmer temperatures, and the river is really starting to rise. This evening it is flowing at almost 1400 CFS, more than twice the highest flow we saw last year, and it is still rising! This is a huge reversal from the original predictions, and it has been called a “snow miracle” — the late season snows have helped us tremendously, and we’re told we can expect at least 700 CFS through the majority of our season! I’m extremely thankful to the One who makes “Snow Miracles!”
God has brought us a great guide team once again this summer, and I’m really enjoying serving with them. Josh, Elise S, Elise H, and Cori are back for another summer, and Amy, Ben, and Ryan are new guides this year. Jeanne Marie will join us for about a month after she finishes up teaching 6th grade. The three guys, Ben, Ryan, and Josh, are staying at my house through the summer, a big improvement from living in a tent! I’m really enjoying having them here and look forward to a lot more opportunities to invest in their lives! Mark and Sarah have just moved into their place, and the girls are staying with them.
Our training this year started with several trips down the Royal Gorge to be sure our guides were ready for a couple of groups that came last week. This meant several runs through the Gorge to get Elise certified. I’ll likely start working towards being certified in the Gorge by the end of this summer, and I had a couple opportunities to guide some of the less-intense parts during this training.
Last weekend Josh and I joined a couple of former VFH guides, Dan and Nikki, and took kayaks and “duckies” down Browns Canyon. That was a whole lot of fun! Browns Canyon is the most popular whitewater rafting trip in America — and it is really pretty. With the river running at over 800 CFS up there it was quite exciting in a ducky — some of the biggest whitewater I’ve yet tried in one.
Last week we spent a couple days training our staff for rock-climbing and rappelling. By Saturday the river had reached 1000 CFS, and it was a lot of fun! Rocks we bounced off last year are now big holes, and it is actually quite likely you’ll get very wet.
Some prayer requests:
- Please pray for safety this summer for all our guides and guests.
- Pray that we would have countless precious spiritual conversations that will glorify God and encourage many kids and adults to take the next step of faith in Jesus Christ.
- Pray for Mark, Sarah, and I as we desire to disciple our guides, pouring into them so that they are encouraged in their faith.
- Pray for Steve & Mandy Reiff and their family as they are nearing full-support, but still have a lot of hurdles to overcome before they can move out here and join our staff full-time.
Thanks again for all your prayers and financial support! I appreciate you standing by me in this ministry. As always, if you’re out this way be sure to drop in and say hi.